Blue Cross Blue Shield NC Receives Approval for 2017 Rate Increase
One of the biggest questions on many minds as Open Enrollment 2017 approaches is “will my health insurance premium rate increase?” Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina announced last week that the Department of Insurance (DOI) has approved a rate increase of 24.3% for 2017; however, this rate increase will be felt differently among BCBSNC customers. In May of 2017, Blue Cross Blue Shield NC filed for an average increase of almost 19% for ACA (Affordable Care Act) individual health plans. When Aetna announced early this fall that they would be exiting the NC marketplace, however, BCBSNC revised that rate filing in an attempt to adjust for the new market.
In a blog article released by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina on October 14, 2016 Brian Tajili, Director of Actuarial and Pricing Services for BCBSNC, explained that this rate increase will allow the company to “serve our ACA customers in a financially responsible way in 2017.” He went on to say that Blue Cross Blue Shield NC understands that “these kinds of rate increases aren’t sustainable over the long term,” and reiterated the fact that the company has been consistent in their message that in order for the ACA (Obamacare) to work properly, younger, healthier customers need to enter the market to balance the higher health costs of the current membership.
Of further note, although there will be a rate increase for 2017, it will not be felt equally among all BCBSNC customers. Blue Cross Blue Shield NC believes that many customers will actually see a decrease in their rates due to an increase in federal subsidies. Keep in mind, however, that although the subsidies decrease the out-of-pocket costs for customers, they do not decrease the out-of-pocket costs for the company and the ACA market has consistently proven to be an unhealthier market. The overall rate increase is an attempt to ensure that the company can remain sustainable and that BCBSNC can continue to offer health insurance plans in all 100 counties in NC.
For more information on North Carolina insurance coverage, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.